Moral Calculations

Game Theory, Logic, and Human Frailty

  • Authors
  • László Mérő

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Games of Morality

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. László Mérő
      Pages 3-14
    3. László Mérő
      Pages 15-27
    4. László Mérő
      Pages 28-47
    5. László Mérő
      Pages 48-66
    6. László Mérő
      Pages 67-80
  3. The Sources of Diversity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 81-81
    2. László Mérő
      Pages 83-102
    3. László Mérő
      Pages 103-118
    4. László Mérő
      Pages 119-134
    5. László Mérő
      Pages 135-149
    6. László Mérő
      Pages 150-171
  4. The Psychology of Rationality

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 173-173
    2. László Mérő
      Pages 175-190
    3. László Mérő
      Pages 191-207
    4. László Mérő
      Pages 208-224
    5. László Mérő
      Pages 225-241
    6. László Mérő
      Pages 242-259
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 261-276

About this book


Are people ever rational? Consider this: You auction off a one-dollar bill to the highest bidder, but you set the rules so that the second highest bidder also has to pay the amount of his last bid, even though he gets nothing. Would people ever enter such an auction? Not only do they, but according to Martin Shubik, the game's inventor, the average winning bid (for a dollar, remember) is $3.40. Many winners report that they bid so high only because their opponent "went completely crazy." This game lies at the intersection of three subjects of eternal fascination: human psychology, morality, and John von Neumann's game theory. Hungarian game-theorist Laszlo Mero introduces us to the basics of game theory, including such concepts as zero-sum games, Prisoner's Dilemma and the origins of altruism; shows how game theory is applicable to fields ranging from physics to politics; and explores the role of rational thinking in the context of many different kinds of thinking. This fascinating, urbane book will interest everyone who wonders what mathematics can tell us about the human condition.


Prisoner's dilemma game theory golden rule human frailty logic psychology rational behaviour

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1998
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4612-7232-8
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4612-1654-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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